Posted by Anthony CarboneJanuary 13, 2009 at 12:31 am
Well the Tokyo Auto Salon 2009 Pictures has come and gone and it completely blew my expectations of the show and trip out of the water. It was 100% worth the 12 hour flight 🙂 In addition to the 6000+ photos I took (I will be adding a daily dose on MadWhips) of more than 500 rediculously awesome modified cars, I also had the pleasure of meeting some awesome people in the industry!
I have never seen so many people taking photos and video at any car show I have attended (SEMA Show, Essen Motor Show etc..) let alone so many people period at a car show. Not only do the Japanese love their electronics (and flip style mobile phones), they also passionately love their cars and all things motor sport related. I was able to photograph about 98% of the cars at the show, with the exception of the outdoor D1 Professional Drift Grand Prix Series. I am a little disappointed that I missed these Drifting events cause I am sure they are world class drifters who set the bar for the rest of the planets drifting community!
I met Shin Inoue, Sales & Marketing Director of Zele International (Zele GT-R + Zele 370Z) who personally welcomed me to the Tokyo Auto Salon as well as Japan for the first time in my life, Shin also eagerly introduced me to Kris Hunt of GTRBlog.com who is an awesome guy from Australia (and who’s blog I read daily). I was extremely happy and surprised that I finally got to meet him in person! BTW his blog is the leading authority on all things GT-R related, so make sure you check it out!
I also met Norman Tong, President of N1 Concepts Inc. from San Francisco who is going to set me up with his shirt designer in California in order for MadWhips & CarZi to get some sick racing jerseys made, Toe Doe from Thailand of FukDuk Production Co., Ltd (Toe thanks for the couple hundred Yen you lent me, I would have been F’d for the last subway transfer home on Sunday!), Takeshi Matsushita, Sales Promotion Sec. Chief of Wald International (Wald GT-R + Wald Lexus IS F) from Takatsuiki, Osaka, Japan (thanks for taking care of me and clearing people away from your cars so that I could get some sick pictures!).
Finally it was also a pleasure to meet Keisuke Suzuki, Director of LB Performance and Keiichiro Sugita of Liberty Walk Co. Ltd who were also extremely accommodating in allowing me as much time I wanted without people getting in my way at their display booth. They had 3 modified Lamborghini Murcielago LP640‘s and a Lamborghini Gallardo, all extremely nicely modified and equipped with air suspensions, definitely one of my top 5 baller displays at the show! Thanks for the warm welcome to Japan and the invite to come checkout your tuning showroom!
The show was located at the Makuhari Messe (bird eye view of the massive Nippon Convention Center above) which is located between Tokyo and the Narita Airport. I had to travel via 3 separate subway transfers (1.5 hours total) from my friends condo in Shibuya to get there. Going to and from the show was by myself and was equally as fun and adventurous as attending the Tokyo Auto Salon!!
Now here is a little bit of what I observed at this years Tokyo Auto Salon 2009. Unlike the 2008 SEMA Show which was all about the Nissan GT-R, and the 2008 Essen Motor Show which was all about the Volkswagen Scirocco, the Tokyo Auto Salon 2009 was obviously heavily weighted with Japanese cars so obviously there were tonnes of Nissan GT-R’s, Skyline R34’s, Nissan 370Z’s as well there were tonnes of Toyota Legance, Alphard and Velfire minivans, slammed and heavily modified. It is going to take me at least a couple weeks to get all the photos up on MadWhips.com, but if you check back daily you will see at least 20-50 new albums added every day. You can bookmark and check this link daily as it will show the latest albums added: Tokyo Auto Salon 2009 Pictures.
The temperature in Tokyo is cold enough to freeze little puddles during the night and frost up cars early in the morning, however during the day when the sun is out it is absolutely beautiful and warm enough for a t-shirt and light jacket.
The women here are extremely beautiful wearing little to no makeup (fell in love many times since I landed) and their style ranges from conservative school girl to pom pom go go dance attire. It is not uncommon to see girls wearing knee high boots (or socks) with a miniskirt even though it’s pretty damn cold out at this time of year.
Flashy sneakers and boots, tight denim, and colorful slightly puffy jackets are part of the norm here for guys and I absolutely love the somewhat eccentric fashion that I have seen so far.
You are not allowed to talk on your mobile phone while in a subway/train car which is awesome and a treat compared to living in North America where you have to put up with assholes constantly yammering about nothing to nobody. The subways get jam packed especially the lines leading to or out of the Tokyo main station yet politeness between and among all was observed at all times.
Most toilets have heated seats, urinals are really low for 6’2″ guys like me and their toilets in restaurants are sorta like funny urinals built into the floor which you are required to basically squat over. After taking 6000+ photos which amounts to hundreds of free standing squats, I can barely sit down let alone hover my ass over one of these things!
[Source: WhipDaddy, YouTube.com]